How to Use Cedar in Closets

Updated March 23, 2017

Cedarwood oil found in cedar wood can protect the clothing in your closets from moths and bugs that can damage fabric. Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, civilisations have used this oil to repel insects and odours. When it comes to using cedar in your closets, you have three options: cedar planking, cedar chips and cedarwood oil.

Choose the style of cedar you wish to use. The website "Ask The Builder" recommends using planks or panels made from eastern red cedar, as this variety has an aroma strong enough to repel moths and other bugs, while the more popular western red cedar does not.

Measure your closet to see how much planking or panelling you'll need. For best results, completely cover the walls of the closet with cedar. Your final measurement should be in square feet.

Buy the amount of cedar planking or panelling you'll need from your local home improvement store.

Remove all clothes and other items stored in your closet.

Install the cedar along the walls of your closet, using a hammer and nails to attach the wood. Attach the planks to the existing walls at the studs, using a stud finder to help you locate them.

Sand the cedar using fine-grade sandpaper at the end of each season. This will expose a new layer of the wood to the air, and allow the natural oils in that fresh layer to evaporate and release their aroma.

Buy cedar chips from a local home improvement store. These chips -- which vary in size -- can produce the same aroma as cedar planks. Select chips made from eastern red cedar.

Place the cedar chips in multiple locations throughout your closet. Put them in all the closet's corners, as well as up on any shelves.

Shuffle the cedar chips routinely. Moving them around, whether by shaking or stirring them, will expose the chips on the bottom or middle of the pile to the air, allowing them to more fully release their odour.

Replace the chips periodically. While there is no set time frame, chips -- as opposed to planks or panels -- are more likely to lose their aroma over time, since the increased surface area of the chips speeds up the evaporation process.

Place a diffuser filled with cedarwood oil inside your closet. Refill the diffuser with fresh oil when the old oil has evaporated.

Add a few drops of cedarwood oil to existing piles of cedar chips to increase the aroma.

Put a few drops of cedarwood oil on a clean sock, ball it up and place it in your closet.

Place baskets of potpourri infused with cedarwood oil in your closet.


Add storage accessories made from cedar, like hangers and boxes, to your closet to increase the aroma and repel pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Cedar planks
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Stud finder
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Cedar chips
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Diffuser
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About the Author

Elizabeth Falwell has been writing for the TV news industry since 2005. Her work has appeared on WXII 12 News, WMGT 41 News, and multiple parenting blogs. A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Falwell holds a Master of Science in broadcast journalism.